LAS VEGAS, NV (August 17, 2018)—Win or go home.
That’s the situation for the Las Vegas Aces who, with two games remaining in the regular season, still control their own destiny with regards to securing the eight seed in the WNBA playoffs.
Las Vegas is tied with Dallas at 14-18, and the Wings host the Aces this evening at 5 pm PT. Since Dallas owns the tiebreaker over Las Vegas, a Wings’ victory tonight would clinch the final postseason berth for Dallas. An Aces win puts Las Vegas a game up on the Wings, but the Aces would still need a win in the season finale over Atlanta, or a Dallas loss to Seattle, to make the playoffs.
|Las Vegas Aces||Dallas Wings|
|August 17||at Dallas||14-18||August 17||vs. Las Vegas||14-18|
|August 19||vs. Atlanta||22-10||August 19||at Seattle||24-8|
Las Vegas is on a two-game winning streak entering the final weekend of the regular season. The Aces’ defense held Indiana and New York to 74 and 72 points respectively in those victories, and led wire to wire in both games for the first time this year.
Leading Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player candidate A’ja Wilson ranks sixth in the WNBA in scoring (20.2), rebounding (8.1) and blocked shots (1.61), while fellow All-Star Kayla McBride is eighth in scoring (18.6) and second in free throw percentage (.915). Kayla Plum, the NCAA’s career scoring leader, is tied for second in the W in three-point field goal percentage (.443), and 12th in assists (3.8).
Just under a month ago, Dallas looked to have a postseason berth locked up, and had its sights set on a first round bye in the playoffs. Since defeating the Washington Mystics on July 19, however, the Wings have dropped nine straight games.
Dallas fired head coach Fred Williams following the team’s 93-80 loss to the Mystics on August 12, and assistant Taj McWilliams-Franklin took over as the team’s interim head coach.
The Wings are led by 6-8 center Liz Cambage whose 22.8 points per game leads the WNBA. She ranks second in the league in rebounding (9.7) and is fourth in field goal percentage (.597). Teammate Skyler Diggins-Smith is 10th in the W in scoring (18.2) and third in assists (6.2). In the two games this season against Las Vegas, the duo is averaging 47.0 points per game.
Kayla McBride is averaging 30.0 points per game against Dallas this season, while A’ja Wilson is chipping in 18.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per contest.